Picking Up Lionel
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July 26th, 2012

Picking Up Lionel


  • bcmayes

    I like kids. It's parents I can't stand.

  • ChayaFradle

    You can say, "What do you think will happen if you go to sleep?" You'd be surprised. Sometimes, I got an answer like, "Monsters will come and get me" (nightmares).

    • ChayaFradle

      So, I'd answer, "Oh, well, then you just tell those monsters to go away because we have angels living in our house and they won't allow monsters in here. Just tell the
      monsters to leave."

  • ChayaFradle

    A little hint to parents, NEVER ask WHY a child won't this or that because they just will not know why. They are not yet sophisticated enough to analyze their motives.

  • Steven A S

    That's not circular reasoning. Circular reasoning is something along the lines of "I'm right because I say I'm right". Lionel not doing something because he doesn't want to is pretty straight forward cause and effect.

    • Darrin Bell

      It is circular reasoning unless Lionel says WHY he doesn't want to sleep.

      "I won't do X" and "I don't want to do X" is a distinction without a difference, because if you truly want to do something, and no external force stops you, you do it. If you don't do a thing and no external force stopped you, it's because the part of you that DIDN'T want to do it (for whatever reason) overruled the part that did want to. So what Lionel is saying is no different than if he had said "I won't do it because I won't do it."

      Mankind knows instinctively that this is a fallacious circular argument, because when our kids answer us with "because I don't want to," we ALWAYS tell them that's not a good enough answer (unless we're pushovers).

      • ChayaFradle

        No, circular reasoning would be, "Why won't you go to sleep" answered with "because I won't go to sleep". Want is a different word with different connotation.

        • Darrin Bell

          I just explained why that's not true, and it's the reason why "because I don't want to" is never a satisfying answer.

          It's Lemont's philosophical postulate and so far nobody's disproved it.

      • Steven A S

        Not trying to be overly argumentative, circular reasoning is where the "proposition" and the "conclusion" are each used to resolve each other in a circular fashion. In my example above (oversimplified of course) you're meant to believe that I'm right because I say I'm right; and you should believe what I say, because I'm right. Lionel's argument is still a fallacy and unsatisfying, but the proposition isn't implied to answer the conclusion like it would in a circular argument.

  • Joe Mama

    OK, Lemont, we'll help you because you're a rookie, and we like you. Be like a politician. Offer choices which have meaningless differences. "Would you like to cuddle up in bed with your bear . . . or your horse?"

    • ChayaFradle

      Absolutely correct. In my child development courses in college, we learned to give children choices to make, all of which would be acceptable to us. If they choose something different, we say, "Oh, I'm so sorry. That's not one of the choices."

  • bcmayes

    Careful, Lionel. We'll call Auntie Janet on you!